Time does not heal all wounds. Back in 2002 the boys of ‘N sync merely said they were taking a break, going on a “hiatus” if you will and that there was nothing to worry about. Once Justin Timberlake’s Justifed was released later that year some started to question whether or not this boyband would ever release another album together. Those fears have been more than realized as here we are almost two decades later and the men seem to be allergic to the word “reunion”.
Like the Backstreet Boys, ‘N sync found early success overseas before hitting it big in the US after securing their own Disney Channel special, guest appearance on hit TV show, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and opening for Janet Jackson on her “Velvet Rope Tour”. Their debut album would go on to be certified diamond for selling more than 10 million copies. In 1998 they released a Christmas album and would later file a lawsuit to break free of their management.
After much contention and threat of losing their name, ‘N sync prevailed and found a new home and released their record setting album, No Strings Attached in March of 2000. Selling 2.42 million records in the first week of release, this record would stay in place until 2015. In 2001, Celebrity was released selling 1.8 million in its first week and spurred a stadium tour that would go on to gross 90 million dollars. They embarked on an arena tour in 2002 that has since become their last tour ever.
How are the solo efforts going?
Justin Timberlake – He may be the granddaddy of them all, the one every boyband member breaking free from their boyband hopes to be. Justin Timberlake took pop music by storm as a fresh faced, ramen noodle headed 16 year old. Jump to 20 YEARS LATER and JT is still as smooth as silk, most recently getting nominated for an Academy Award for his song “Can’t Stop the Feeling”. Timberlake’s first solo effort debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 chart selling 439,000 copies in its first week. Since then, the album has sold more than 10 million copies worldwide. His second effort wouldn’t be released until four years later, Future Sex, Love Sounds debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 and an extensive tour followed. His latest efforts The 20/20 Experience Part 1 and 2 were released separately but they both debuted at number one. This tour would last for two years and become one of the highest-grossing tours of the decade. Fans are impatiently waiting his next studio album.
JC Chasez – Arguably the best singer in the group, once JT made his debut it seemed obvious that JC would follow suit. His first effort at solo stardom came in the shape of 2002’s “Blowin Me up with Her Love” from the Nick Cannon movie, Drumline. Peaking at number 35 on the Hot 100 this often forgotten about song was simply overshadowed by his own friend’s debut. Two years later, Chasez released his album, Schizophernic that boasted the names of Basement Jaxx and the late Ol’ Dirty Bastard. The album was aptly titled because there wasn’t a cohesion from one song to the next. Failing to propel him in the same way Justified did, Chasez left his label and through internet leaks, he seemed to have what appeared to be enough songs to release a 2nd effort but it never made its way out of the studio. He has since gone behind the scenes writing songs for pop stars, including Backstreet Boy, AJ McLean.
Chris Kirkpatrick – The eldest member of ‘N sync joined another band, Nigels 11, he competed on CMT’s Gone Country (and faired quite well) and also appeared on VH1’s Mission: Man Band which had Bryan Abrams of Color me Badd fame, the late Rich Cronin of LFO and Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees all move into Kirkpatrick’s house to form a “Man Band” called Sureshot. The group lived together for three weeks and recorded songs to pitch to record executives to get a record deal. They did not get a record deal and needless to say this group was short lived. Kirkpatrick has lent his voice to Nickelodeon's cartoon The Fairly Oddparents.
Neither Lance nor Joey tried their hand at releasing music outside of ‘N sync. Instead they both took turns on Broadway, competed on Dancing with the Stars and have stayed in the spotlight in other ways. Most recently, Lance Bass was part of Meredith Vieira’s morning talk show and Joey Fatone hosted Rewrapped on the Food Network, competed on Chopped and has opened his own hot dog and Italian ice eatery, Fat One’s inside the Florida Mall in Orlando, Fl.
While ‘N sync did take the stage at the MTV VMA’s in 2013, the short lived “reunion” was a mere tease of even lesser things to come. It is clear that the guys are still friends, as they are photographed at each other’s birthday parties but there has been no indication from anyone that they would ever release new music or tour as a legacy act. ‘N sync is expected to receive a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame later this year but the chances of ever seeing the guys perform again seem to be slim to none.
Verdict? Staying solo.
This concludes our #TBT series of boybands gone solo. Reread our features on One Direction, The Backstreet Boys and New Kids on the Block.
Written by Kristen
Their debut album barely made a blip on their New England hometown radar. New Kids on the Block would perform wherever they could, bars, school dances, you name it– they sang at it. It is surprising that the boyband from Boston was even given another shot.
Their second album, Hangin’ Tough started off slow but after they were given the opportunity to open for then pop sensation Tiffany, things started to go their way. So much so in fact that when the two acts toured together again, Tiffany opened up for them! “Please Don’t Go Girl” eventually peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 Single Chart and then “I’ll Be Loving You (Forever)” peaked at number one. Riding high on their success their third album was a Christmas album which gave them yet another top 10 single “This One’s for the Children”. Their next album Step by Step saw them reach even more success as the title track gave them yet another number 1 hit. Soon the boys from Boston were plastered over everything and we mean everything! Lunchboxes, buttons, comic books, they even had their own Saturday morning cartoon!
But all good things must come to an end, by 1993 music tastes were shifting away from pop music and even though they tried to remain relevant, (they started going by NKTOB) their album Face the Music failed to live up to their previous albums. Jonathan Knight left the band in ’94 and the rest of the group disbanded shortly after.
Who went solo?
Jordan Knight – In 1999 Knight released his first solo effort, “Give it to You” and it peaked at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100. His self-titled album went on to sell 1.5 million records worldwide. In a perfect of example of things coming full circle, Jordan Knight a former boyband member became an opening act for new boyband, ‘N Sync on their 1999 “Ain’t No Stopping Us Now” tour. It wouldn’t be until 2005 when Knight would release new music, The Fix featured “Where is Your Heart Tonight” which peaked at number 12 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart. In 2006 he released Unfinished and in 2014 teamed up with Backstreet Boy, Nick Carter for Nick & Knight.
Joey McIntyre – Also in 1999, McIntyre tried to find his footing as a solo artist. He used his own money to record his album Stay the Same and the single of the same name would go on to peak at number 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts. His second album Meet Joe Mac failed to chart. He would go on to release 8:09 and Talk to Me.
Donnie Wahlberg stayed in the spotlight but as an actor, while Jonathan and Donnie Wood lived under the radar.
Then in 2008, all five members of NKOTB reunited for their first album in 14 years, The Block. The album debuted at number two on the Billboard 200 and they embarked on a reunion tour. Riding their success all the way to the ocean the band would also hit the high seas for a NKOTB concert cruise with their fans. They would tour again in ’09 and hit the seas again in 2010.
Because nothing should surprise anyone in the world of pop music, in 2011 NKOTB joined forces with BSB to form NKTOBSB and the two boybands toured together and released a compilation album that included two new songs.
In 2013, the New Kids, sans BSB, released 10 which debuted on the Billboard 200 at number six. Tours with 98 Degrees, Boyz II Men, and Paula Abdul would follow.
So what’s the verdict? Better together.
Our boyband turned solo men #TBT series concludes next week when we talk about ‘N sync.
Haven't had your fill of boybands? Read our features on One Direction and The Backstreet Boys.
Written by Kristen
They first found success overseas in 1995. It wasn’t until 1997 when their US debut album hit the shelves. The release peaked at number 4 and has since sold 14 million copies worldwide. In 1999, Millennium was released debuting at number one on the Billboard chart with 1,134,000 copies sold in the week of release and became the best-selling album of the year with over nine million albums sold. Black & Blue was released in 2000 and sold 1.6 million copies in its first week. After years of struggling and then hitting it big in the world of pop music the Backstreet Boys decided it was time for them to leave their management team in 2002. Things got hairy when Nick Carter decided to stay and work on solo projects. In a lawsuit against filed against Zomba Music Group the Backstreet Boys claimed their label promoted Carter’s solo efforts at the expense of the group. The boys would not appear together for almost two years after that.
How did their solo turns go?
Nick Carter – His first solo album, Now or Never reached number 17 on the Billboard chart and was certified gold in both the US and Canada in 2002. It wasn’t until 2011 that Carter would release another solo effort, titled I’m Taking Off. This album failed to have a major impact on the charts but Carter would return with another effort only this time in an odd twist, he released a joint album titled Nick & Knight with fellow boybander and New Kids on the Block member, Jordan Knight. Their album debuted at number 24 on the Billboard 200 and in 2015 Carter was back again with All American which was released in 2015 but failed to chart on the Billboard 200.
Brian Littrell – His Christian album Welcome Home, peaked at 74 on the Billboard 200 chart but landed at number three on the Christian Albums chart and his song “Welcome Home (You)” peaked at number one on the Christian Songs chart. Since this release in 2006, Littrell hasn’t released any other solo albums or songs.
AJ McLean – McLean broke free from BSB during the height of their popularity in 2000. He tried to establish an alter ego, “Johnny No Name” to use when not performing with the group. Though no album was ever released Johnny No Name performed as part of the Save the Music campaign for VH1 in 2000. AJ McLean wouldn’t release a solo album until 2010, Have It All failed to chart in the US. Just as recently as 2016, McLean teased new music however no new album has been released.
Howie Dorough – He started the project back in 2002 but kept shelving it to focus on new BSB music. Finally in 2011, Dorough released Back to Me the album was initially released in Japan and then released in the US failing to chart on the Billboard 200.
While it was Kevin who officially left the group to peruse other things, he has yet to release a solo album. Back in 2012 he teased the possibility of releasing an album of covers but as of now that album has not seen the light of day.
None of their solo efforts were anything to write home about, and the boys from the “backstreet” reunited on multiple occasions to release music as a group after their late 90’s/early 2000’s success. In 2005, Never Gone debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200 featuring the song “Incomplete” which peaked at number 13.
In 2007 4 out of the 5 members of BSB released Unbreakable which received generally mixed reviews and under-performed on the charts, debuting at number seven and selling less than 500,000 copies in the US as of today. The Backstreet Boys returned again without Kevin for a second album titled This is Us which also under-performed their previous efforts landing at number nine on the Billboard 200.
A full-fledged reunion was had again in 2013 when Kevin rejoined the group to release In a World Like This. With the five guys back this album debuted at number five on the Billboard 200. They subsequently toured from 2013 – 2015 and have been flirting with the idea of a residency in Las Vegas. Currently they are testing shows at Planet Hollywood’s Axis Theater.
Verdict? Better together.
Check back next week when he take a look at NKOTB (New Kids on the Block).
Miss last week's in-depth look at One Direction? Click Here.
Written by Kristen
It’s the same old story, start off in a boyband, make millions of girls around the globe swoon and then leave said boyband to make it on your own. Some strike gold (Justin Timberlake) and others try to take on a new identity and confuse everyone around them (AJ McLean). Either way, no matter how much fans would rather the boys turned men stay in the group they love, the grass always looks greener as a solo artist.
Over the next few weeks we are going to examine some of the biggest selling boybands and how those who tried to go solo have faired. At the end we'll decide if the boys are better together or if they are better off staying solo.
This week we’ll throw it back slightly to One Direction. We'll recap the success they had as a group and who from 1D is trying to go solo (and how they're doing).
This is a boyband break up that is still pretty fresh. First the boys lost Zayn to solo stardom and then in 2015 the remaining four announced they were taking an “extended hiatus”. Many 1D fans may not be old enough to know the impact the word “hiatus” can have on you, ‘N sync never officially announced they broke up, they’ve just been on “hiatus” since 2002. Anyway, we’ll get back to them later.
To be fair, Niall, Liam, Harry, Louis and Zayn never actually wanted to be a boyband, they all auditioned for the British version of the singing competition, X Factor as solo artists. Simon Cowell saw something in each of them though it wasn’t solo success, it was boyband success and so the five boys advanced in the “Groups” category. Placing third in the overall competition, the boys then signed on to Cowell’s record label, Syco Records and eventually with Columbia Records in the US.
Their debut album, Up All Night debuted at number one on the Billboard 200, less than a year later, Take Me Home also debuted at number one this time tripling their debut album’s first week sales at a whopping 540,000 copies sold. With Midnight Memories they made history, they became the first group in Billboard 200 history to have their first three albums debut at number one. Their fourth album was appropriately titled Four as it quickly became a prophesying album being the last album they would record with Zayn. Made in the A.M is the first album One Direction released as a quartet.
Prior to the release of Made in the A.M the group announced they were going on “hiatus” with their last televised performance as a group on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin Eve in December 2015.
Now that the boys are going in their own directions, three of the five original members have released music as a solo artist. Here’s how the solo efforts are shaking out:
Zayn Malik – He dropped the boys of 1D, dropped his last name and released his first solo effort Mind of Mine featuring “Pillowtalk”. The album debuted at number one on both the UK albums chart and the Billboard 200. Zayn can be heard most recently singing with Taylor Swift on their hit from Fifty Shades Darker, “I Don’t Wanna Live Forever” which debuted at number six on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart.
Harry Styles – His first song “Sign of the Times” debuted at number four on the Billboard Hot 100 Chart. He has since released “Carolina” but what fans really want to hear is “Two Ghosts” which have many thinking it is about Taylor Swift based on the lyrics that were seen in an Apple Music promo for his upcoming, self-titled album. Styles also announced a slew of tour dates to promote his solo efforts. On May 12th his debut album hit the shelves and as of now it is looking like he’s going to nab the top spot on both the UK and US album charts.
Nail Horan – He released “This Town” in September of 2016, the song peaked at number 20 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It wasn’t until this month Horan released his second single “Slow Hands”. His album is still untitled and still without a release date.
Louis Tomilnson – He debuted his first solo single, “Just Hold On” a collaboration with Steve Aoki on the show where it all began, The X Factor. The EDM song peaked at 52 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart but made it all the way up to number 7 on the US Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart. Since the debut of this song in December Tomilnson has been hard at work on his album working with ROZES, and rumored to be working with Bebe Rexha.
Liam Payne – His first efforts as a solo artist won’t be released until tomorrow but while at KIIS-FM’s Wango Tango he teased the crowd by saying Ed Sheeran helped him write the track. It has been confirmed that Payne worked with rap group Migos, stay turned to see how his debut shakes out.
So far the boys of 1D are seeing success outside of the group, which hinders any hopes of a reunion in the near future.
Verdict? Too soon to tell.
Check back next week as we dive into the solo endeavors of the Backstreet Boys.
Written by Kristen
Lady Gaga is set to take center stage during Super Bowl 51’s halftime show at NRG Stadium in Houston, Texas. This is arguably the most coveted gig to land and most likely the most nerve wracking as well. Super Bowl watchers are tough critics when it comes to the halftime show and some artists score a touchdown while others get sacked, quick. Let’s take a look back at a few of the the highs of Super Bowl halftime show past.
Beyoncé – 2013
The rumor mill buzzed with talk that husband Jay-Z would join Bey on stage. They sing together on so many hits how could he not? Well, he didn’t. But Sasha Fierce did bring out Destiny’s Child for a reunion and the trio sang “Bootylicoius”, “Independent Woman” and “Single Ladies”. Queen Bey also sang “Love on Top”, “Crazy in Love”, “End of Time”, “Baby Boy” and “Halo”. Beyoncé turned the show into a full on spectacle, she lit her own giant silhouette on fire and was joined on stage by a cheer leading squad. Needless to say, Beyoncé showed the NFL exactly who “Run the World”.
Bruce Springsteen – 2009
“Put the chicken fingers down!” he demanded and then the boy from Jersey made the whole stadium rock with hits “Born to Run”, “Glory Days” and “Tenth Avenue Freeze Out”. For a man who is used to putting on 3+ hour shows, 12 minutes was not much to work with but he made every minute count. With his time up, a referee came on stage to throw a flag for delay of game only prompting Steven Van Zandt to protest and say “It’s Boss time!” If only the Boss could have played on for just a few more; “Rosalita”, “Born in the USA”, “Dancing in the Dark” the list goes on and on.
Prince – 2007
Prince was quite the showman and no stage proved to be too large for him and he proved it once and for all in 2007 while he sang “Purple Rain” in the pouring rain on a stage that was created to look exactly like his infamous symbol. In a post “wardrobe malfunction” halftime world, Prince brought imagination and visual creativity back to the performance that had played it safe for the past two years. Prince was never one to play it safe. He played “Let’s Go Crazy”, “Baby I’m a Star”, “1999” and “Purple Rain” plus covers of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watchtower”, Creedance Clearwater Revival’s “Proud Mary”, Queen’s “We Will Rock You” and The Foo Fighters’ “Best of You”. Yeah, his set list was jam packed and the halftime show was remade and rejuvenated.
*N SYNC and Aerosmith – 2001
This halftime show was produced by MTV and included a serious prelude video featuring Ben Stiller. You can ask anyone who used to rush home from school to watch TRL between 1998 and 2003 - this is the epitome of their teenybopper-hood. What started as a “battle” between *N SYNC and Aerosmith trading off songs from “Bye, Bye, Bye” to “I Don’t Want to Miss a Thing” to “It’s Gonna Be Me” to “Jaded”, ended with the most insane boy band, rock band, celebrity guest appearance mashup of “Walk This Way”. As if the guys of *N SYNC and Aerosmith weren't enough, soon Nelly, Mary J. Blige and Britney Spears all hoped on stage. This is what Super Bowl halftime performances are all about folks. It was a coming together of classic rock and pop idols that has yet to be matched.
Michael Jackson – 1993
They didn't call him the The King of Pop for nothing. MJ changed the game in terms of Super Bowl halftime performances when he entered the stage after beaming through what looked like an alien abduction. With fake Michaels popping up from out of the jumbotron and the real Michael popping up from underground on the main stage, this set the tone for theatrics that had yet to be explored. Until 1993 halftime shows were mostly made up of marching bands. After his grand entrance, he stood there. For 90 seconds. Is that not the most Michael Jackson thing, ever? The stadium lost it and he took it all in starring down each side of the stadium not moving a muscle, not saying a word. After the drama ended he opened with “Jam” and then moved into “Billie Jean” with his infamous fedora then cut to “Black or White”, and closed with “Heal the World”. With that, previous performances paled in comparison and anyone who would be asked to perform next would have to bring it just as hard.
Written by Kristen
All good things must come to an end and this is part four of our four-part series, Throwback Thursday: First Concerts.
Today we hear from two Ticket Galaxy employees who each shared their first concert experience with a very important man in their life, their dad!
“My first concert was Mark Knopfler at Rosemont Theatre when I was 15. I went with my dad, because we share a lot of same tastes in music. It’s a fond memory I’ll never forget!” – Ashley
“My father wouldn’t allow me to go to any concert until I saw KISS live. “You can’t see the rest until you’ve seen the best” he always used to say. So when they came around, we hiked it up to Boston to see them at the Fleet Center (TD Bank Arena now) Thanksgiving eve, with Aerosmith. We didn’t have a turkey that year, and the side dishes were certainly lacking, but I wouldn’t have traded it for the world!” – Doug
We hope you enjoyed this glimpse into getting to know our employees better. Be sure to check out Part One, Two and Three.
Written by Kristen
We're back with our 3rd edition of our Throwback Thursday series: First Concerts. If you missed our first two posts sharing Ticket Galaxy employee's first concert stories Click Here and Here.
This week Eugene tells us about his first concert, a festival he attended with his dad.
"My first concert was a radio-sponsored festival called Big Field Day that my father took me to when I was 11. This was in 2001, so it was at the height of the nu-metal fad and the bill was stacked with long-since-forgotten bands with wallet chains and gigantic JNCO jeans. Staind was the headliner and I just remember them being totally blown out of the water by Rammstein, the co-headliner, as they had all kinds of cool stuff like severed heads in jars and pyrotechnics.”
Our throwback video of the week is Staind's 2005 hit, "Right Here", check it out below!
Written by Kristen
Week two of Ticket Galaxy’s Throwback Thursday: First Concert series brings us Ashton and her first concert memories.
"My mom got tickets for 3 Doors Down (my favorite band) for me and my two best friends when we were 14. She realized when we got there that she had gotten pit tickets for three teenage girls and immediately made us stand at the very back so we didn’t get hurt. She spent the whole night in front of us like a bodyguard -- it was so embarrassing!” – Ashton
Check out "Here Without You" by 3 Doors Down below!
Written by Kristen
Here at Ticket Galaxy, we're fans first and we enjoy going to live events just like you! Starting today and continuing over the next few weeks we’re throwing it back to Ticket Galaxy team member’s first concerts. We’re going to share stories and maybe a video or two to really let that nostalgia kick in. First up, is me!
“Tell me what you want, what you really, really, want” and I’ll tell you my first concert was the Spice Girls in 1998. Little 9 year old me was more than obsessed with the girl group and all of the “girl power” they brought with them. I had pigtails in my hair, my Spiceworld t-shirt on and it was perfect. Well, almost. This concert took place after Geri Hallowell, aka Ginger Spice, left the group so instead of five Spice Girls, there were only four. But everything comes full circle because as a freshmen in college, I got to see all five Spice Girls on the stage together as part of their reunion tour in 2008. And that was what I really, really, wanted.
Let's head back to 1998 and watch the Spice Girl's "Wannabe" video!
Written by Kristen
The Launchpad Blog is written and made possible by our team members at Ticket Galaxy. Each contributing writer shares their passion for the sports, music and entertainment industry.
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